After several years of stagnating R&D budgets for most non-defense agencies, the Pentagon now seems poised to join the trend, according to the analysis by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).The Defense Department's spending on basic science and early technology development would be particularly hard hit.
Science-related spending proposals for the Pentagon and other federal agencies will be analyzed in a comprehensive AAAS report to be posted online 12 April in advance of the upcoming forum.
While overall, the Pentagon would continue to grab the lion's share of the nation's R&D investment --about 53 percent-- much of that money goes to defense laboratories and industrial contractors who focus on developing specific weapons systems. The proposed budget would impose steep cuts on Pentagon science and technology spending, money that traditionally has helped nurture such disciplines as computer science, mathematics and oceanography.
For all agencies, the total federal R&D portfolio of $132.3 billion would grow just 0.1 percent or $84 million, far short of the 2.0 percent increases needed to keep up with inflation, according to the AAAS analysis..
NASA would continue to receive additional resources, but nearly all other non-defense agencies would see their R&D funding decline. The Energy Department's Office of Science would see its funding fall 4.5 percent to $3.2 billion. Environmental R&D would decline across the board, including a 4.8 percent drop for the U.S. Geological Survey and 11.2 percent for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
While the Nationa
Contact: Earl Lane
American Association for the Advancement of Science